Rich Brazilians flocking to Portugal “bring banks with them”

Rich Brazilians described as flocking to Portugal are bringing their banks with them.

Itau Unibanco Holding SA and Banco Bradesco SA are “considering opening wealth-management offices in Portugal amid a surge in Brazilians moving to the European nation”, reports Bloomberg.

Said a source of Itau, “we believe our edge is to be close to our clients”.

Bloomberg dubbed this country the new Miami for rich Brazlians – who have lost hope that conditions in Brazil will ever improve enough to lure them home” – back in May, not totally explaining why the real Miami may have lost it allure (click here).

But the fact that Portugal offers tax incentives and resident permits for wealthy non-Europeans with the bonus of a shared language thrown in is clearly pulling this sector of foreigners in a very significant way.

Says the financial news agency, about 28,000 Brazilians emigrated to Portugal in 2018, “more than twice the number who made the move in 2017”.

Renato Ejinisman, head of global private banking for Bradesco – described as “the second biggest wealth manager in Brazil – told Bloomberg: “There is no final decision yet, but I really believe there is business for us in Portugal. It would make sense for us to have a presence there.”

XP Investimentos SA, “the biggest Brazilian brokerage firm”, and Banco BTG Pactual SA are “already starting private-banking businesses in Portugal”, Bloomberg adds – suggesting the latter “is planning to have as many as five bankers there when it opens its Lisbon office, according to partner Luiz Raphael Guinle”.

“A lot of Brazilians, mainly from Rio, are moving out to Portugal, to Europe, to the U.S., but mainly to Portugal,” Guinle explained, stressing Brexit could be “an added push for Brazilians in London to consider relocating to Portugal”.

“Depending on what happens with Brexit a new hub for Brazilians living in London could be Portugal”, he said – stressing his bank’s Rio clients are shipping out “because of the crisis in the city” which has seen an increase in homicides and unemployment.

Says Bloomberg, at 22% “Brazilians represent the biggest chunk of foreign residents in Portugal” – that’s more than three times the No. 2 source of immigrants, Cape Verde”.

Brazilians are also the biggest foreign property investors in Lisbon, according to Portuguese brokers’ association APEMIP.

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